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Trip Report: Thailand/Cambodia- Exhilirating Trip!

Trip Report: Thailand/Cambodia- Exhilirating Trip!

Jan 17th, 2012, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
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What a great report...makes me want to return to Thailand.
dgunbug is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Love your report! Your time in CM sounds great. I feel as u did about the ruins in SR. after 2 days they started to become a bit of a blur for me. I enjoyed the two days, but it got to be too much.

Re next winter trip...I think I'll wait and c wher u decide to go next year!

Lcuy, we just left Luang Prabang after spending 5 lovey days there. It's a great town to kick back and just take it as it comes. It was also blissfully cool.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 08:16 AM
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I posted a few pics on Shutterfly:

You do not need to sign in or have an account to see them.

68 photos. I haven't done any editing yet but figured this is a forgiving audience. =)
schlegal1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2012, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Really enjoying this report.

"And don't hold your breath for my restaurant reviews, we had bad, bad luck in Siem Reap (probably because we didn't follow the advice on this board--there's a really nice thread I pulled up where a Fodorite reviewed tons of Siem Reap restaurants; I found the thread while we were there but my husband was confident we would find something good just walking around[grumble, grumble])"

Yep, happened to us many times, thats why I always research and have a list. Would you mind sharing the link you spoke of re eating in Siem Reap?

Also wanted to add I really appreciated the Bold headings. I've never done this in a TR but boy it really helps with reading and also going back to the relevant headings for planning.

aussiedreamer is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 06:19 AM
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I will add my restaurant experiences later today, I hope. Meanwhile, here is a terrific thread from offwego that I wish we had followed in Siem Reap.

schlegal1 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2012, 09:28 PM
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Thats great, thanks heaps.
aussiedreamer is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Sorry for the delay! As I said, we aren't gourmets and so food isn't part of my planning--we generally eat based on what we find close to our hotels or wherever we are when it is lunchtime.


P. Kitchen- Thai Food
This was a two minute walk from our hotel and the receptionist recommended it. This was my husband's favorite meal of the trip. It was an unassuming little place that just looked like a generic small restaurant--no real decor. The food was outstanding, though and really fresh.

Lean on Tree- Thai Food
Also a short walk from our hotel. There is a nice garden and fountain here so the atmosphere was really nice. The food was great.

Saras - Vegetarian Indian Food
This was also pretty close to our hotel and the sign calls it Indian Fast Food. It was a bit hard to find--we were actually considering going into Basilico but then saw this and wandered closer to see what it was. What a find! One of the best meals of the trip. It is fast food in the sense that you order at a counter and get a number and your food is brought there. Other than that it's not like fast food at all--everything was fresh, hot and delicious. We were the only non-Indian people eating in there so it's not a typical tourist stop. That means no explanations on the menus as to what things are. Since we don't live near an Indian restaurant at home, we got some guidance from the cashier on ordering. Yum. Everything on the menu is vegetarian.

Street Food
I couldn't be adventurous as a vegetarian but the fruit and fried ice cream I got were tasty. My husband was able to try lots of different things from various carts and enjoyed all of it. The trick to getting tasty, fresh food was finding a place near a school because when the kids get out, they swarm the vendors for snacks. In our case, it was at Benjasiri park several blocks from the hotel (which is a delightful park, busy with locals) that we found lots of carts and lots of delicious kebabs, sausages, chicken, etc for my husband.

Local Fruit
Since I couldn't be adventurous at the carts, I had my adventure with fruit. I bought rambutan, mangosteen and jackfruit at the supermarket and had fun opening the fruits and tasting them. I also tried durian, which I bought in Chinatown. I didn't find the smell repellant at all--more like very overripe and tangy fruit. The taste was fine but not something I loved and the consistency was like pudding. The funniest part of the adventure was that I planned to eat it closer to the hotel (outside) but when I went to board the subway, the security guard called me back and pointed to my durian (wrapped entirely in plastic and inside a plastic bag) and said "no." Oops! I should have known I couldn't take it on the subway but forgot since it was all wrapped up.

Cabbages and Condoms-Touristy Thai Food
We were just going to visit the shop since we know it's a bit of a tourist trap but we ended up eating here and it was good (if expensive for Bangkok tourist fare). It was a fun atmosphere, a cause we consider worthwhile, and an extensive menu of Thai items.

There was another vegetarian Indian restaurant near the tallest building and shopping area of the city but I can't remember the name. We had excellent luck with Indian food throughout the trip.

Siem Reap

As I mentioned, we had bad luck here because we didn't plan on where we would eat. The most frustrating part was that service was slow as molasses in every restaurant (except Curry Walla). The servers were hustling but there just wasn't sufficient staff. It became a running joke how long we waited for service and meals.

On the days we were in the park Pov took us to the tourist restaurants there for lunch. They were fine but on our last day the one we went to was so crowded that we left after having waited for 45 minutes for Tom Yum soup to arrive. I would have rather packed a box lunch to enjoy in the park so if you can arrange this, somehow, I think that would be better than mediocre tourist fare within the park's restaurants.

Raja Angkor Khmer Food - Khmer/Thai/International Food
The service here was unbearably slow. I had to actually get the menus ourselves and flag down staff to order. I had a Khmer curry and my husband had chicken soup with preserved limes. We never got the water we ordered and had to ask to have it removed from the bill (which was a debacle). The food was fine but not fabulous and the poor service kind of ruined it.

Cocktail Restaurant-Khmer food
We picked it because it was really, really cheap. Again, service was abysmal. But the set Khmer menu (springrolls, Khmer amok, and grilled bananas in palm sugar syrup) for $5 was a bargain and by this point our expectations for service were LOW. Drinks were really cheap, too. And the fruit smoothies were delicious.

Curry Walla - Indian Food
Since we'd had luck with Indian food so far we decided to risk this place on the main drag. We laughed when we saw that it's sign said "reviewed by Frommers"---ok, but what did the review say? Well, it probably said this place was great because it was. The food was delicious, spicy, and service was terrific. We were so glad we came here.

Barrio--French food
We just had drinks here but the atmosphere was terrific and the owner is actually French so we had nice wine and relaxed at the bar.
schlegal1 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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Chiang Mai

Kin Dee--Thai Food
This place was wonderful. It was within walking distance of the hotel inside the old city. It's a tiny restaurant but it is very inexpensive and everything was wonderful. I had green curry for only 65 BHT (I could eat green curry every day and never be sick of it) that was fantastic. And they had tons of options for fruit smoothies/slushies/shakes.

Moxie--Upscale Thai
This is the name of my husband's business so we picked the restaurant just for the fun photo op. Well, it was terrific. It is inside the Dusit hotel, which has a very modern look. The restaurant is expensive by Thai standards but is probably the cost of a family-style chain restaurant in the States. But the food is prepared in a manner more suited to a very fancy place in the US--it all came out looking like art and tasting like heaven. There were some interesting twists on typical Thai dishes and they had some more "exotic" items like wild boar. The cocktails were great and the service was friendly. For about $70 US we felt like we'd had a meal fit for a king.

The Antique House
Is not there anymore! We followed the Fodor's book and didn't see it --a hotel receptionist explained that it is now called Antique House 2 and located somewhere else. So check online if you want to try this place. We ate elsewhere. I emailed Fodor's to tell them of the change.

Senor Diablo's Nachos - Tex Mex Food
This was great. We almost always get a craving for Tex Mex when we travel and we've had our share of really bad and really weird nachos, etc. This place was pretty authentic and they make their guacamole fresh everyday. We split nachos and a half pitcher of margaritas (which was huge). We almost went back a second night we liked it so much.

The Gallery -- Thai Food
You are paying for the view/atmosphere at this riverfront restaurant. There are a number of restaurants along the river and all are about equal in price. The food here was exactly the same as what we got in cheaper places but in a nice location. That was fine, but there's no real difference between 65 Baht green curry and 200 Baht green curry. And we really got eaten up by mosquitoes being near the river.
schlegal1 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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We were thinking of eating at the river in CM when we return there on Sunday. given your report of the prices and being "eaten up by Mosquitos" I think we'll skip and stay with our cheap eats elsewhere.

we also ended up at Condoms and Cabbage at the end of a long day in BKK. It was just a few blocks from our hotel. Was surpsied to find the food good.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 26th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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I highly recommend Moxie in CM; no view, though.

Also, the couple we were with on the trek ate at a place called Chedi (a hotel and restaurant, I think). They raved about the food and it's on the river and they said the restaurant brought them mosquito repellant cream that smelled nice.
schlegal1 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Love your report! Did you plan the entire trip yourself or use a travel agency?
auntlisey is offline  
Mar 26th, 2012, 07:14 AM
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Hi auntlisey, initially I thought I would use an agency but with encouragement from this friendly board I decided to plan everything myself. It worked out wonderfully.
schlegal1 is offline  
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